There. I said it.
And while I may have a few items in my possession with the mouthless cat's image on them, it was 100 per cent guaranteed that I only possess them because they were given to me by young female students of mine back in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.
As to why I continue to possess these items nearly 20 years later rather than throw them out - well... aside from maybe needing a Hello Kitty ruler or pencil one day, they are just so darn cute!
Please take a look at this link to a Hello Kitty story published by the Japan Times on September 23, 2011, and see if you can understand the phenomenon that is Hello Kitty.